Age 12 to 16 is the most common time to start braces treatment and other Teen Orthodontics
Orthodontic treatment is most commonly started between the ages of 12 and 16 because most permanent teeth have grown in by this time. Gaps, crowding, and issues with bite and alignment are easily detected by this time. Bone and jaw structure have sufficiently formed to allow orthodontic treatment to begin. Some kids and teens may have already begun Phase I treatment at an earlier age, and now may be the time to follow up with full braces or other orthodontic treatment.
This is also the age where many kids and teens develop a heightened awareness of themselves, their appearance, and their relationships with friends. Building self-confidence and balancing individuality with “fitting in” often takes up a large part of your teen’s life during this period of time.
If your teenager has gaps, crooked, or protruding teeth, they may feel self conscious and hide their smile. They may also be very concerned with how they may be perceived and treated by their peers. Confidence and positive self-esteem can help your teen be successful through their education, social and future career goals.
Beyond outward appearance, crooked or crowded teeth or a misaligned jaw can also have lasting impacts on your teenager’s future oral and whole body health.
Teeth that are straight and well-aligned are:
- Less prone to wear, chipping and other trauma
- Easier to keep clean, preventing decay or cavities
- Key to reducing the chances of developing gum disease, which can result in bone loss, decay, and even tooth loss
- Able to help in proper chewing and digestion
- Designed to last for life by properly bearing the stress and wear of chewing
Braces and other orthodontic treatment can not only help your teen feel confident about having a healthy smile, but can also help set them up for success throughout their lives.
Signs and Symptoms: How do I know if my teenager may need Braces or Orthodontic Treatment?
We always recommend a complimentary consultation with an orthodontist if you notice the following issues:
- Protrusion of teeth
- Difficulty chewing or biting; biting the insides of the lips or mouth
- Crowding or extra spacing between teeth, difficulty flossing or brushing due to crowding
- Signs that your teen may be hiding their smile because they are concerned or embarrassed about their appearance
Where can I get braces for my teenager?
We are proud to offer all levels of orthodontic services, including traditional and clear braces as well as Invisalign Teen® at every Midwest Orthodontics locations. Our licensed and experienced orthodontic specialists are accepting new patients.
How can I make an orthodontic consultation or appointment for my teen?
Orthodontic consultations for teenage patients are always complimentary at Midwest Orthodontics and require no commitment to start treatment. Consultations typically do not require a large time commitment for you or your teen, and consist primarily of an oral examination by the orthodontist, followed by an in-depth discussion about their observations and any treatment recommendations.
Oral Hygiene and Home Care Routines for Teens with Braces
If your teenager has braces or any type of orthodontic treatment, the best way to ensure their time wearing braces is as brief and successful as possible is through maintaining an excellent at-home oral care routine, and by keeping up with regular checkups and adjustment appointments. Your teen’s orthodontic treatment team at Midwest Orthodontics will help by providing detailed instructions, techniques, tools, and monitoring of oral hygiene at regular visits. As parents and guardians, your role in keeping your teen motivated and on track is extremely important. Your teen will also benefit from your moral support and encouragement as they track the timing and progress of their treatment.
Alternative Orthodontic Treatment for Teens
Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment. Braces are a series of brackets that are carefully measured and fixed to the teeth and connected with wires designed to align and move the teeth. Midwest Orthodontics offers traditional metal braces, as well as ceramic or tooth-colored brackets and wires that are designed to be more discreet.
Invisalign Teen®, or a series of custom aligner trays is another treatment option that may be available for some patients. Your child’s orthodontist will be happy to review all treatment options during the consultation process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontic Treatment for Teens
How long does treatment usually take?
Orthodontic treatment typically takes between 12 and 24 months, depending on the treatment and correction needed, the type of treatment (traditional braces or Invisalign ®, for example), and the patient’s compliance with home oral care, wearing of any appliances, and scheduled adjustment appointments.
What if I decide against teen orthodontics my child?
Orthodontic treatment is truly an investment in your child’s future. Your teen’s orthodontist can discuss the benefits of treatment, as well as any potential risks associated with delaying or foregoing treatment. Although adults can get braces and orthodontic treatment at any point with a great prognosis, the jaws and teeth of teenagers often respond more quickly to orthodontic treatment, shortening total treatment time. While orthodontic treatment often provides a visible and more pleasing alignment of the teeth, treatment can also correct issues with bite, crowding, and alignment. Left untreated, these issues can result in uneven wear, jaw issues, headaches, decay and tooth loss, and chipping and breaking of the teeth.